September 27, 2016 1:15:31 am
The Karnataka High Court has stayed the proceeding of the Rs 1,411-crore provisional attachment made by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case against Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and its chief Vijay Mallya.
The ex-parte interim order of the high court was issued after United Breweries Holdings filed a writ petition against the ED on September 19 asking the court to grant interim stay in the adjudication proceedings of the attachment made by the agency. The high court has asked the ED to file its reply in the case by September 27. The case will come up for hearing on September 28 said sources.
Mallya owns 52.3 per cent stake in UBHL. In June, the ED had provisionally attached properties worth Rs 1,411 crore of Mallya in connection with the Rs 900 crore loan default with the IDBI Bank. The assets under “provisional attachment” included bank balance of Mallya of Rs 34 crore, a flat each in Bengaluru and Mumbai (2,291 sqft and 1,300 sqft respectively), an industrial plot in Chennai (4.5 acres), a coffee plantation land in Coorg (28.75 acres) and residential and commercial constructed areas in UB CITY and Kingfisher Tower in Bengaluru (8,40,279 sq ft).
Now UBHL in its plea has asked ED to furnish several documents pertaining to the money laundering case including the IDBI Bank loan documents , the balance sheet of Kingfisher Airlines and statements of the officials of the airlines recorded by the agency. “UBHL in its appeal has wrongly said that it was forced to move high court as the appellate tribunal in Delhi hearing appeals against ED orders is not functioning,” said an official source.
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“We are hoping that the ex-parte interim stay will be vacated soon,” the source added.
Under the norms a provisional attachment is valid only for 180 days. Within this window of 180 days the adjudicating officer of the agency has to get a court nod for final attachment of assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Currently, Kingfisher owes over Rs 9000 crore to 17 banks including the SBI, IDBI Bank, PNB, BoI, Bank of Baroda, United Bank of India, Central Bank, UCO Bank, Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank , Federal Bank , Punjab and Sind Bank, Axis Bank among others. So far the ED has attached Mallya’s properties worth over Rs 8,000 crore under PMLA after the agency expanded its probe into the case. On August 23, the ED registered a fresh case against Mallya and Kingfisher for loan default of Rs 6,027 crore.
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